Emmanuel Eboue, formerly a renowned footballer for both the Ivory Coast and Arsenal, has stated that he is financially destitute and has been estranged from his children by his wife, Aurelie.
Eboue, who was once a beloved figure at Arsenal, has expressed that he is struggling to make ends meet, and is resorting to asking for help to cope.
The footballer opened up about his dire straits in an interview with the Mirror UK.
“I want God to help me,” he said. “Only he can help take these thoughts from my mind.”
“I can’t afford the money to continue to have any lawyer or barrister.
“I am in the house but I am scared. Because I don’t know what time the police will come.
“Sometimes I shut off the lights because I don’t want people to know that I am inside. I put everything behind the door.
“My own house. I suffered to buy my house but I am now scared.
“I am not going to sell my clothes or sell what I have. I will fight until the end because it is not fair.
“I look back and say ‘Emmanuel, you have been naive… why didn’t you think about that before?’ It is hard.
“Very, very hard. The money I earned, I sent it to my wife for our children.
“In Turkey I earned eight million euros. I sent seven million back home. Whatever she tells me to sign, I sign.
“She is my wife. The problems with FIFA were because of people advising me. People who are supposed to care. But it was because of them FIFA banned me.
“When I see Thierry I feel happy for him but ashamed of my own situation.
“When I see friends on TV that I played with or against I say to myself ‘I should still be there’. It’s hard to watch them.
Eboue says he is devastated at spending Christmas apart from his kids, daughters Clara, 14, and Maeva, 12, and son Mathis, nine.
The defender said he cannot afford to buy a washing machine, adding that he now washes his clothes with bare hands.
“It hurts me a lot. They used to call me. But now, no contact. It pains me to be alone without them,” he said.
“Every day I wash my jeans, my clothes, everything. My hands are hard. As though I have been working on a farm.
“I thank my grandmother because she taught me to wash, cook, clean, everything as a young man.
“I continue to thank God. I have my life. I didn’t want what has happened. I don’t wish it on anybody.”